Islington: 10,000 houses could be sold to fund Right to Buy

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing - Credit: Archant

Council warn that new build programme could suffer from goverment extension of the Right to Buy scheme

Islington Council has warned that all 10,000 of its new homes built as a part of a programme to plug the borough’s housing gap could be sold to fund the government’s Right to Buy scheme.

Following Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget announcement of an extension to Right to Buy, local authorities will be forced to sell off their high-value council homes when they become empty.

Projections made by the Greater London Authority last week found that up to 4,500 council homes will be sold off each year in the capital to fund the scheme.

Richard Blakeway, the deputy mayor for housing, said a ‘broad’ assessment by City Hall suggested that between 3,000 and 4,500 London council homes would be sold off each year through the policy.

He also indicated that between 2,000 to 6,000 housing association tenants would take up their Right to Buy in London every year, which would take many properties earmarked for social housing out of the public market, placing them in the hands of individuals.

In Islington, 42 per cent of residents are in social housing and a further 19,000 people are on the waiting list. The GLA is said to be lobbying extensively on the policy.

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James Murray, cabinet member for housing at Islington Council, said: “Every single home we’re building under our new build programme would be above the threshold. So [the policy] could just end our new build programme because simply every home once completed would be over the threshold and therefore we would be forced to sell it.”